The 2016 Vuelta a España kicks off on Saturday evening with a 27.8-kilometre team time trial in Galicia that will decide the first red jersey of the race and could open up some significant time gaps in the battle for final overall honours in Madrid.
The flat and exposed course takes the 22 teams of nine riders from the Balneario de Laias thermal resort to the Parque Nautico de Castrelo. It is the longest team time trial at the Vuelta in recent years, surpassing the 2013 opener – also held in Galicia – by 400 metres.
The 22 teams set off at four-minute intervals, with Bora-Argon 18 the first team to take the start, at 18.26 Central European Time. BMC Racing Team, winners of last year’s neutralised team time trial, set out at 19.34, while the teams of the three main favourites – Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome and Alberto Contador – are the final starters.
Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Movistar are in action at 19.42, Team Sky begin their Vuelta at 19.46, while Tinkoff bring the curtain down on the evening’s proceedings when they start at 19.50.
Vuelta a Espana stage 1 start times (CET)
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|4||Astana Pro Team||18:38:00|
|5||Lampre - Merida||18:42:00|
|8||Caja Rural -Seguros RGA||18:54:00|
|10||Etixx - Quick Step||19:02:00|
|12||Cofidis, Solutions Credits||19:10:00|
|13||Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team||19:14:00|
|14||Ag2r La Mondiale||19:18:00|
|15||Trek - Segafredo||19:22:00|
|17||Team Giant Alpecin||19:30:00|
|18||BMC Racing Team||19:34:00|
|19||Team Lotto NL -Jumbo||19:38:00|